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Is it OK to spoil your child when you feel guilty for not being a good enough mom?

Sometimes you just don't feel like you're being the best mom can you can be, so you try to make up for it by spoiling your child with things. Is that reasonable?

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22  Answers

2 20

No, then you just end up with a spoiled child who will eventually figure out that it is because of guilt and try to make you guilty to get what they want. Apologize for your mistakes, show them that you are sorry, but unless it is giving them extra attention and love when you stumble, things are never gonna make it better, atleast not for long. You'll just be creating a bigger problem.

0 39

No, I think that's a bad idea..but still I find myself doing it.. :) as writing, I'm in Oslo working all week and only see my daughter in the week-ends for the whole of august. I feel bad about it, eventhough I know that she is good taken care off. Still, I'm glad that I found this mail, because there's no reason that I should spoil her when coming back. In our society women have to work.

711 9

First of all, if you are thinking in this manner you are judging yourself. To judge yourself or another is to deny the universal LOVE that exists in our universe. Who is to say who or what the "best Mom" is? We are all human and we all make mistakes. There is no such thing as "better than" or "worse than". Those are simply lies that we ourselves and society have taught us.

To assume that a material thing will "make up for" or "cure" some mistake you have made is simply an error in thinking. When we err it is best to FORGIVE OURSELVES first, as we know that the Supreme Divine Energy (by whatever name you choose to call it) always forgives us. If you choose to "spoil" a child by giving material gifts for an error you have made you are setting the example that one should receive a material gift for an error that another has made. Is this really the kind of belief you wish to instill in your child? I hope not.

Guilt is also something that our society errs in believing. We have all been taught that guilt is something that we should feel when we err. However, if we learn to forgive ourselves first, and then explain to the child that we have erred, the need for guilt and recompense disappears.

It is sad, in my humble opinion, that we have held these beliefs and actions as correct for such a very long time. It is time to release these beliefs and kinds of actions based on these erroneous beliefs so that our society can CHANGE and grow in a more healthy, DIVINE manner.

0 1

Well said

0 5

I don't agree with that. My mother did that to me and no "thing" can be a substitute for a parents attention.
I found that when I did little things for my daughter, like schedule a family movie night, or have a slumber party for my daughter and myself... she was soooo much happier than when I bought her something. Not to mention, they can tend to expect to receive something always.
I would just sit down and think what is making me feel like I am not being the best mom and then try to change that pattern. You and your child will benefit from this! :)

2 14

That is a really dumb question. Of course not!

0 18

Don't spoil them.... cause then you will feel more guilty. Identify the problem, fix as best as you can. Forgive yourself and squeeze your child with your unending love!

102 0

No. but if u do something wrong, like anyone else, u gotta apologize to ur child. maybe get them ice cream or let them pick dinner, even stay up an extra hour. but not just because u arent a "good enough" mom

512 54

No. You answered your own question. Spoiling them to make yourself feel better is a selfish act of mothering. Not a good thing. It will never work, never has worked, so don't do it or stop doing if you are.

207 5

My mom always felt that way I think. She was always buying me things but she still wasn't around. I am now 33, married and the mother of 2. To give an example of how impossible this behavior can be to break: Late last year there was an art exhibit I was dying to go to. There was a FREE day so there was no admission costs. I invited my mom to go with me, I told her I wanted her to experience something that I enjoy - to learn about me and my interests. She said she was excited to go! I arranged with my husband and dad that they take the kids to play while my mom and I go to this FREE day. As the day approached, you could see my mom having reservations. The day came and she insisted that INSTEAD of this FREE day where her and I could just talk and enjoy each other's company, she wanted to take me SHOPPING. I was angry and told her how much it hurt me that she didn't want to be a part of this with me. She insisted that we NOT go that day. BUT, she was perfectly happy to go with me on ANOTHER day that she got to PAY for us to go to the museum. She couldn't fathom how I thought the free day was better than the day she PAID for us to go. Once we were there on the paid day, her interest was in us visiting the gift shop to buy me something rather than enjoying some of the art and just talking together. (You may say it's just that she's not into art. However, this is the same attitude even if we DO go shopping. I say "let's go to the thrift store and see if we can find a cheap pair of shorts" and she sees that as somehow LESSER because she wants to go to the mall and pay $50+ for a pair of shorts)

So, after my own story there, my answer is NO. You can end up down the road where neither of you can appreciate just spending time together unless money is being shelled out...

20 0

No...but it doesnt always stop me from doing it. lol

1 0

As a child of someone who substituted material objects for time spent with or affection, I can personally say that I don't feel its o.k to spoil my son when I feel guilty. I will schedule "Popcorn and Movie Nights" with our favorite DVD, or bake cookies together instead. Or watch a hockey game ( I am a total tomboy and my son LOVES hockey) I found that time spent with is better than material objects that they will just lose interest in, or feel like they can have what they want, when they want it.

100 23

No its not ok. My step daughter lives with me and my husband, she sees her mom on the weekends. Because her mom only sees her a few hours a week she gives into whatever Samantha wants. Samantha has told her therapist that she sees me as more of a mother because I make her follow the rules and her mom is more of a friend because she can get whtever she wants from her. As she gets old(13 now) what she wants is harder for her mom to give her and now they do not have a good relationship. All you need to do to be a good parent is love your kids and spend time with them. Its not easy for working moms to spend a lot of time with their kids but you can do it. We eat as a family at the table(phones tv radio off) and talk about our day. And before bed time at least 3 times a week we play a game together. Kids need YOU not the things you give them. Lets face it every parent feels guity from time to time but as long as you love your kids and show them you do then you are doing a good job.

9 0

Spoiling puts the child in control of you. Not a good place to be for either of you and it teaches them if I persist long enough, I'll get my way.

Spoiling is almost child abuse, it doesn't teach a child to think about others, it is however, a great opportunity to acknowledge feelings and then to respond in virtue.

18 6

Generally I would say no. Things do not make up for your time and attention. However, we are currently in the process of adopting a second child. My six year old is feeling a little threatened. We recently had to leave him with his grandparents while we went out of the country for a week related to the adoption. We splurged on some fun activities and toys for him the week before and after our trip and came home with presents for him. When we're out shopping for things for the new baby, I've been letting him help pick out things for her, but also get one thing for himself. Normally, I'd be telling him to put the toys he wants on his birthday wish list right now, but I don't want him to think everything is about the new baby right now.

0 0

No I don't think it's ok do that. I am sure you are a great mother so long as your children as healthy, happy and wise. Remember as a mother you can only do so much and it then up to your children to take what they learned from you and apply it to their life. Of course it's ok to buy them a "treat" once in awhile but to spoiler them will cause them more harm than good.

0 32

From what i've read everyone is assuming spoiling them is buying them things, but i think it's more then that. I know mothers that cater to their child's every whim. I like to do nice things for my kids, and i buy them things from time to time, but i think it's important to keep a healthy balance. I don't drop everything just because they ask or they don't always get to go with me to the store, just because they want too. There are times i need my own personal space, just as they like theirs and I enforce that they respect the fact that i'm on the phone with someone, not to interrupt, or that i'm having a one on one conversation with someone. A spoiled child can have a lot of issues when they get into the real world where things will not always go their way, they will not know how to deal with it. So all in all your really doing them more harm then good.

512 54

The woman who posted this question stated, "things" in her spoiling of child. This is why we are responding as such.

30 0

Huge NO! Giving child things is NOT love nor will it make you feel any less guilty! All you'll do is show a child how to act badly.

As to being a good mom, just by wondering and questioning, you're likely a good mom. There are no perfect moms in the world, just as there are no perfect children. Instead of spending $$ to make up for what you think you're lacking, spend the time you'd go shopping to play a game or take a child out for ice cream and sit and listen to their world - or take a walk and just listen to the child. Don't correct the child's 'story,' either. They are using their imagination and will likely tell you some very unlikely stories - but so what?

BTW, one of the best games I've found to play with my granddaughter is 'Brain Quest.' There are no real rules. My granddaughter LOVED playing that game because she could use her imagination to come up with a story, a question and/or an answer. Some of the questions she came up with to go with the picture she picked were quite interesting and always entertaining!

1 4

I don't think spoil is the correct word... If I feel I am not being a good enough mom or have been really busy lately .. I might schedule some one on one time.. and doing something special.. but by no means does that mean I go out and buy them anything they want...

0 0

I don't view scheduling on on one time with your child as spiling, its showing your kids that you love them and are there for them. My father gave my brother and I things all the time out of guilt when we were growing up, all we wanted was his time! He was the every other weekend dad, and even now at 27 and having my own son I realize from time to tome that I take advantage of my father's giving nature because that was the relationship that he created when I was very young...

32 26

What you described here is not spoiling. It's part of being a good mom. And we all get really busy from time to time. Sounds like you need to lighten up on yourself a bit. Sounds like a special time with your kiddo.

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0 0

My kids say, "Yes, It is OK!"

512 54

Of course they do :) Immediate gratification works great for most kids.

0 0

NO NO NO What is a good enough mom? If you feel that you have been slighting your child in some way, work on yourself--time management, more patience, whatever the issue is. But "things" to calm your guilt really do your child no favor.

2 0

Is there somebody out there who feels this is ok? Seriously? Absoluty not! I give my children my time and love..rather than stuff.

9 28

Hell no. Not unless you want them to think things should be handed to them on a silver platter weather or not you are a good or bad mom is on you


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